Cobras aim to finish on a high

Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)
Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Cape Cobras will be without Rory Kleinveldt as they look to gain the last few points necessary to secure a second consecutive Sunfoil Series title.

Kleinveldt picked up a knee injury over the weekend and will not travel to Bidvest Wanderers for the Cobras’ clash against the Highveld Lions, from which captain Justin Ontong feels his side will need two or three points to clinch the trophy.

The Cobras currently lead the Knights by 19.08 points, and would need to have a complete shocker to be overhauled.

If the Cobras were bowled out for less than 150 and took less than three wickets in the first innings, and went on to lose the match, then the Knights could overtake them by scoring at least 355 runs and taking nine wickets in their first innings on their way to a victory.

However, for every point that the Cobras picked up, the Knights would need to score an extra 50 runs in their first innings.

Ontong is not thinking too much about that, and would rather focus on how much sweeter a title success would feel if it came on the back of another four-day victory.

"The Titans did us a nice little favour (by beating the Knights last week), but we still need to make sure so it’s just a matter of keeping the boys nice and focused," said Ontong.

"We’ve also been playing some good cricket this season so we want to finish off on a high.

"If you can win the game the celebrations will be that much sweeter."

Robin Peterson is still out with neck spasms, so Shaheen Khan and Lizaad Williams will contend for Kleinveldt’s place in the side.

"Rory’s been leading the attack nicely so it is quite a big loss because he’s also a senior player within the bowling unit," said Ontong.

"Obviously Kempy’s (Justin Kemp) is going to have to lead that now, but I’ve been really impressed with how the youngsters have been playing.

"This will be another opportunity to showcase their talents."

They will be up against an inexperienced Lions outfit, with coach Geoffrey Toyana likely to give his four debutants from last week another run.

"I was impressed with Kagiso Rabada and, in particular, with his third and fourth spells.

"I was expecting him to be tired but he was on the button - his control surprised me," said Toyana.

"Our wicketkeeper, Sizwe Masondo, kept very nicely, Shaylen Pillay played nicely in the first innings and Rassie van der Dussen showed that he belongs at this level."
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